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Archive for July 9th, 2008

Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008

I congratulate Hon Minister for Lands Mr James Orengo ( Nyatieng) by exposing his former fellow Minister of Finance, Mr Amos Kimunya corrupt deal of the Grand Regency Hotel sale, and a such Mr Orengo many of his positive transformation force in his ministry are awesome, however, this should not consumed much of his time. I suppose the matter should now be left for the law to take its course.

Therefore, Hon Mr Orengo would you please set up an agenda for luoland to obtain the title deeds for the purpose of bank loan sureties across entire luoland to enable us compete with other communities in terms of economical development since we are already a head in political activisms.

The PM Raila Odinga had already evokes our memory of the Late Jaramogi Oginga Odinga vision of Luo thrift and Trading Company, which refreshed our memory of his father slogan of the of 1946 of Riwruak e Teko ( Unity is Strength).

The PM Raila is not to be blame for Luoland underdevelopment since he is not a luo homeland MP, and therefore history will judge harshly some of our current busy body leaders if they fail to empower our people economically before 2012.

The late Jaramogi was a political, education and economical institute seer, he tirelessly work hard before independence to bolster luo community with economic base through Luo Thrift and Trading Company to empower them in their pose for struggle for independence.

Below are Some of his quotes:

I was convinced that political power had to be struggled for and achieved as a stepping stone to any advance at all, he writes in Not Yet Uhuru.

I was convinced that to start the battle against white domination, we had to assert our economic independence. We had had it drummed into us that the whites had the brains to give the orders and it was for Africans to carry them out. We had to show we were capable of enterprise and development in fields beyond our shambas, he wrote, I hated the idea of our people begging from the government.
While we still waiting for the Majimbo Constitution to be enactment by April 2009, I call upon all the luo Ministers and our leaders to initiate economical entrepreneurships across the luoland, assist brilight young people to further education, provide employments for the luos in theirn respective ministries and departments, those without papers can be employed as laborers or tea boys/girls.

The time has come when we first become luos before we become Kenyans, it was well demonstrated during political crisis in 2007 and it will still repeat itself if Majimbo constitution is not enacted.

After several years of Luo political realignment since the death of the late Jaramogi in 1994, the PM Raila turned the page in the Luo political history book last year 2007 by engage major luo political experienced and capable giants across the board to help him forge development in for our homeland.

If the late Jaramogi, Ker Adala, Jaduong Ombok Thim, Councilor Mbewa Ndeda or Ogago Thiko could come from the grave today they will definitely bless the PM Raila Odinga, for having managed to bring Prof Anyang; Nyongo ( Woud Padri), Orengo Jim ( Nyatieng) and Otieno Anyang ( Woud Bado Mboyo) together for the sake the luo development and unity.

Luo Leaders must stop bickering!

While the Gema community in the Grand Coalition are busy reinforcing and empowering their community economically, some our of Luo ministers and elected leaders are pondering on insignificant political substance debates which cannot improve the livelihood of our impoverish people.

The PM Raila Odinga made an extreme sacrifice to settle a deal with President Kibaki for Grand Coalition Government, which is a worldwide historical and symbolic political conflict settlements of its kind.

Instead for some of the Luo Ministers and leaders to put an economical and development strategy agenda first for their constituents, they are playing the roll of civil rights activists.

It is however, unfortunate that the Luo elected leaders are still making public utterances as if Kenya is still on a campaign trail, the duties which should be left for the civic societies.

The PM Raila Odinga, made a very clear statement that Luos should desist from the opposition political mentality and start seek bank loans and venture into business entrepreneurship, since then no major progress has been made.

Luos are desperate for a new start while some of our MPs are desperately strategizing how to win next election basing their development record on government Constituency Development Funds instead of engaging the electorates in economical investment activities.

The dependency syndromes to the government and handout culture is being promoted by our own leaders, who are forever threaten to empower their constituents for their fear that they may run for the political office.

Meanwhile, the Gema Ministers and MPs are compaigning for their IDPs constituents to be compensanted by the Grand Coalition government, while some luo MPs have not even carried the head count of how many of their constituents relatives outside luoland were killed or disapear or in jail, maimed, widows, widowers, orphans and those still living under the tents elsewhere in the country or currently homeless.

It is unacceptable for some of leaders to major on the minors, at this time when the Kenyans are trying to recover from the painfull past, particurlarly a tribe that has been victims because of staunch stand against injustice for decades, for their leaders to dwell in the high tower of the luxuries lifestyle.

Finally, I also appeal to all the ODM Ministers and Leaders across the Jimbos to do the same for if the Gema Community practicing the act perfectively, why not us

By Rev Okoth Otura, Toronto – Canada



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Why Kimunya quit

Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008


Barely 44 hours after vowing he would rather die than resign, Finance minister Amos Kimunya finally bowed to pressure and stepped aside Tuesday to allow for investigations into the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel.

Mr Kimunya addresses a press conference in Nairobi on Tuesday to announce that he was stepping aside for investigations into the sale of the Grand Regency Hotel. Photo/PETERSON GITHAIGA

Mr Kimunya said he made the decision after consulting President Kibaki, his own family and colleagues.

Sources said that during one of the meetings, President Kibaki made it clear to Mr Kimunya that he should respect the vote of no-confidence passed by MPs last week and pave the way for investigations into the Grand Regency saga.

President Kibaki was at his Harambee House office Tuesday morning and sources said he held another meeting with Mr Kimunya.

After the talks, the minister called a press conference to announce that he was stepping aside.

He said: I have requested his Excellency the President to be allowed to step aside to facilitate the inquiry.

MPs who had threatened to frustrate debate on the Budget if Mr Kimunya did not resign, changed their mind after the announcement.

Mr Kimunyas words were similar to those uttered by his predecessor at the Treasury, Mr David Mwiraria, when he too stepped aside to pave the way for investigations into his alleged involvement in the Anglo Leasing scandal.

At the time, Mr Mwiraria along with his Cabinet colleague, Mr Kiraitu Murungi, resigned from the Cabinet after being mentioned adversely in connection with the Anglo Leasing scandal. The two bowed to pressure after revelations by the then Governance and Ethics permanent secretary John Githongo who later went into self-exile in Britain.

At the time, Mr Kimunya was transferred from the Lands Ministry to Finance after Mr Mwiraria quit. The then Environment minister Kivutha Kibwana was named to act as Lands minister.

Now that Mr Kimunya has stepped aside, President Kibaki can either name a substantive replacement or appoint an acting minister from serving Cabinet ministers to fill in at Finance.

Early indications from sources familiar with events leading to the announcement Tuesday were that the President was likely to name an acting minister until the investigations are completed.

In the event that the President names an acting minister, there will be limits to what the new office holder can do.

An acting Finance minister cannot sign agreements committing the Government to loans either locally or abroad. He or she cannot also sign on repayments to such international lenders as the World Bank, IMF, International Finance Corporation, or bilateral lenders.

The minister would be confined to signing routine appointments such as those of chairmen and boards of directors for parastatals, moving motions or Bills in Parliament, answering questions by MPs and answering on behalf of the Treasury during Cabinet meetings.

Mr Kimunya is the first minister in the grand coalition to step aside to pave the way for investigations.

In Parliament, Prime Minister Raila Odinga accepted that he did receive a briefing about the controversial sale of the Grand Regency Hotel from Central Bank Governor Njuguna Ndungu.

However, he said the briefing only came after stories about the sale of the five star hotel appeared in the press.

On April 23 this year, I received a telephone call from the Governor of the Central Bank who told me that there was something he wished to share with me as Prime Minister, concerning adverse stories appearing in the media. I met him in my office the same evening, the PM said.

Unsigned document

He told the MPs that Prof Ndungu presented him with an eight-page, undated, unsigned, typed document which purported to give a background to the Central Banks involvement with Kamlesh Pattni and the case of the Grand Regency.

Mr Odinga also said that 90 per cent of the payments for the hotel was still being retained in a lawyers bank account. The hotel was sold for $45 million or about Sh2.9 billion.

This would mean that the Government is yet to receive Sh2.6 billion. Land transactions processed by lawyers require that money paid by the buyer remains with the lawyers until the transaction is completed. However, there is a limit of how long a lawyer can keep the money.

While passing the vote of no-confidence against Mr Kimunya last Wednesday, MPs accused him and several other public officials of failing to follow the laid down rules and regulations on the sale of public assets during the sale of the hotel in Nairobi, the Safaricom Initial Public Offering and other transactions involving parastatals.

The no-confidence motion was introduced by Ikolomani MP Bonny Khalwale who also questioned the ministers role in the controversy over the money supply contract with De La Rue.

At a public rally in his Kipipiri constituency last Sunday, Mr Kimunya laid out conditions which he said had to be met before he could resign.

Among them was that Mr Odinga, Lands minister James Orengo, Attorney-General Amos Wako and Kenya Anti Corruption Commission director Aaron Ringera also step aside to facilitate investigations.

On Tuesday, Mr Kimunya maintained that his conscience was clear on the role of the Treasury and himself in the transaction.

I have maintained the position that I am open to an independent inquiry to prove my innocence, he said during the press conference. With him were assistant minister Oburu Oginga and Finance permanent secretary Joseph Kinyua.

It was not known whether President Kibaki will appoint another team to investigate the sale of Grand Regency as Mr Kimunya has since dismissed the one appointed by Mr Odinga as biased.

Another parliamentary committee, headed by Nambale MP Chris Okemo is also investigating the saga. On Tuesday, the Speaker of the National Assembly, Mr Kenneth Marende, gave the Okemo team two weeks to complete its investigations.

Before stepping aside, Mr Kimunya appeared confident of surviving the tide after deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta backed him.

Mr Kenyatta dismissed the Wako committee report, saying it had not mentioned Mr Kimunya by name. He also said that Cabinet documents should not be discussed through the media.

Mr Kimunya and Prof Ndungu have since insisted the process used to dispose of the Grand Regency Hotel was above board and that Kenya got a good deal.

Defended deal

The Libyan ambassador to Kenya also defended the deal last week.

In an advert last Sunday, Prof Ndungu said the hotels selling price was above the market value as per valuation made by three private firms Lloyd Masika Ltd, Value Zone and Ark Consultants Ltd.

The advert said the hotel was sold for Sh2.95 billion, while Value Zone had initially valued it at Sh1.62 billion, Lloyd Masika (Sh1.75 billion) and Ark Consultants (Sh2.17 billion).

Based on the valuations, the Central Bank set the purchase price of the hotel at $45 million which translates to Sh2.95 billion at the current exchange rate, said the CBK governor.



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Kimunya finally resigns

Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008

By Kipkirui KTelwa

Finance Minister Amos Kimunya has finally bowed to pressure and quit his job.

Only last Sunday, an enraged Kimunya strongly asserted that he would not relinquish his Treasury job over the manner in which he handled the sale of the Grand Regency hotel.

However, the embattled Kipipiri MP eventually bowed out on Tuesday to mounting pressure to pave way for investigation into the hotel saga.

“I have requested his Excellency the president, to be allowed to step aside to facilitate the inquiry,” said Kimunya in a brief press statement he read on Tuesday afternoon.

Saying his conscience was clean on the saga, Kimunya insisted that he was open to an independent inquiry to prove his innocence.

On Sunday, Kimunya had accused Prime Minister Raila Odinga of being part of a wider scheme to bring him down and said if he had to resign, then Raila, Attorney General Amos Wako, Lands Minister James Orengo and anti-corruption commission director Aaron Ringera must also step aside to allow for investigation.

On Sunday, Kimunya, who had been elusive since Parliament passed a Motion of no confidence in him on Wednesday, retreated to his Kipipiri constituency to launch a fight back at a rally at Miharati Stadium.

He had told his constituents that Orengo blew the whistle after “his bid to solicit a Sh3 million bribe from a legal firm involved in the sale was turned down.”

“Orengo went public after he was denied a bribe of Sh3 million he demanded from a Mr Adan, one of the lawyers involved,” Kimunya said.

But lawyer Ahmed Adan, hit back immediately dismissing Kimunyas allegations as falsehoods, baseless and unfounded:

Urged kibaki to act

Said he: “Orengo is a close friend, a polished lawyer I have worked shoulder-to-shoulder with. Kimunyas allegations are falsehoods, baseless and the bribe theory totally unfounded.”

Kimunyas insistence that he would not relinquish his position drew the MPs wrath who vowed to block the debate on national Budget starting from Tuesday, the same day the Prime Minister Raila Odinga is scheduled to issue an official statement on the Grand Regency saga.

Reacting to bribery claims, Orengo had on Monday asked President Kibaki to act on Kimunya.

“Kibaki should not bury his head in the sand when the country is looking for leadership and direction in the matter. He should take responsibility and act,” Orengo told a Press conference on Monday.

He added: “We will resist Kimunyas attempts to have innocent Government officers sink with him.”

Vice President Kalonzo Musyoka and Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta are the only PNU affiliated Cabinet ministers who have publicly rallied behind Kimunya since the Wednesday censure motion.

In fact, Uhuru had on Sunday accompanied Kimunya to Kipipiri for the rally, where the latter vowed not to resign.



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Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008


Kenyas Finance Minister Amos Kimunya has quit over the controversial sale of a luxury hotel at the centre of Nairobi.

Mr Kimunya called a Press conference and issued a brief statement, saying: I have requested President Kibaki to be allowed to step aside to facilitate an inquiry into this matter.

At the same time, police have beat up and arrested a group of activists who were meeting to plan protests against Mr Kimunyas handling of the Grand Regency sale.

Mr Kimunya said his conscience was clean that he well managed the sale of the hotel.

Ive held several consultations with President Kibaki, my family, friends and colleagues on Grand Regency. My conscience is very clean on the role of the Treasury and specifically myself on this matter. I am open to an independent inquiry to prove my innocence, he told reporters.

Earlier, police stormed a Nairobi restaurant and arrested a number of civil society activists who were planning demonstrations against Mr Kimunya over the sale.

The group, meeting under the aegis of Name and Shame Coalition Against Corruption, had gathered at the citys Garden Square restaurant adjacent to the Kenyatta International Conference Centre when riot and regular police in full gear stormed the venue.

It was upon seeing the uninvited guests in uniform that those in the meeting scampered for their safety.

About ten members of the civil society were arrested including Anne Njogu and Okiya Omtata.

At the weekend, Kimunya had said he would only step down over the matter if three other top government officials, including Prime Minister Raila Odinga, did the same.

Odinga, Lands Minister James Orengo and Attorney General Amos Wako have denied any wrongdoing.

Orengo has threatened to sue Kimunya, and Odinga was due to give a statement to parliament on the case later on Tuesday.

Anti-graft groups and some ministers have sharply criticised the no-bid sale of the Regency, saying it should have been public and that the hotel was worth nearer 6 billion shillings.

In its no-confidence vote last week, Kenya’s parliament accused Kimunya of ignoring public procurement laws in the sale and of contempt for parliament.



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Discussing Kenyan politics

Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008

To All

I am a little bit taken aback here following the concerns of Mr Paul Nyandoto regarding some comments that were made by Mr. Sam Okello. It is in reference to a Mr Chotara.

When I went through Mr Okello’s comments I was convinced that the man was talking about the late CHOTARA. The man who graduated from “NDEFFO”(If you don’t know what that means then you might just be very green in the Kenyan Politics. Yes! Mr. Chotara, the man who was used or misused by Moi to the hilt. He was one guy in the ranks of Mburu Mbuthia better known as Mulu Mutisya. That ilk were reputed initialize their signatures by their left hand thumb print.

In their heydays nobody ever did anything in their regions without consulting them. Kariuki Chotara was revered in the whole of Nakuru. He of the NDEFFO(Nakuru Ex Freedom Fighters Organization) spread so much fear and havoc in so many people that it was better not to cross his path. If you think I am kidding, then ask Koigi wa Wamwere where his troubles with the Nyayo regime started. Questioning Chotara or being seen to appear as though you were getting some audience with the public in Nakuru, immediately earned you a reprimand by Chotara. You were either accused of being anti Nyayo or being sent to finish other popular people like Chotara.

The whole issue never ended there. It was forwarded to Baba Na Mama himself for further disciplinary measures. A harambee wouldquickly be organized in Nakuru area where the main man would be Chotara and the Chief guest would be Nyayo himself. At that function, the Ndeffo man, Mr. Kariuki Chotara would give large sums of contributions and in the process of doing so rail on those disgruntled elements who are out to “Furuga” peace and tranquility in Nakuru.

When Nyayo finally rose to address the people, the die was already cast. It was either dismissing a DC or a DO or reprimanding a PC for having given a permit for thatparticular politician to address a political rally. The politician was then recommended for expulsion or warning pending the Convening of a Kanu Governing council. Things used to be “elephant” in those days. It wasChotara’s era. He talked and you followed else you earned the wrath of Baba na Mama. So to be safe people chose to follow Chotara. Do you remember his famous comment right in front of TV cameras, that was airedon KBC during prime time, with a true broken Swahili? It went like this “HAPA NYAIKURO TUNATAKA MTOTO ACHOME NA TUTAJEGA MACHURE ICHILINI NA CHABA” (Hapa Nakuru tunataka watoto wasome, na tutajenga mashule ishirini na saba)

Now, if you had doubts about the man and his ideals then see it right there. He was Nyayo’s right hand man, cause as Nyayo himself,Chotara loved Children and was willing to build 27 schools in Nakuru to accommodate the expanding O-System (8-4-4 = 0) of education of watoto wa Nyayo, in that region. That is why Nyayo had his ears wide open to this man. Did I hear somebody dare him? Where would you have gone or lived? Maybe elswhere but not Nakuru.

If you never knew Chotara or have never heard of him then you are ill equipped commenting on Kenyan Politics. Because the Chotaras, Mulu Mutisyas, Hezekia Oyugis the Oloo Aringos, the Biwotts, the Kamothos and many others who sang the Nyayo Songs soo hard while causing misery and outrageous agony to their imagined opponents, were thebuild up to the discontent that culminated into the tensions that we had during the first four years of the politics of Kibaki.

Mr Sam you should count your lucky stars that Kenya has gone through a second liberation of politics, the third and the final face of liberation was on the way, but the mongrels rapped it and took it away from wanainchi. Otherwise I imagine that, had you made those comments during the Chotara and Nyayo era, then I can imagine that by now those boys from Recce Company, there in Kimbo of Ruiru Town, could have been dispached on a mission to seek and to bring to Nyayo house at once. Okiki Amayo would then be asked to conveve a Kanu National Executive Council, (Amayo was the chairman and he had the capacity to convene a meeting even at 3:00am in the morning) to expell you from the party. Why? All because someone misintepreted your comments,in those days there were manyKanu hawks who misintepreted almost every statement that anybody made. Those guys did not have the intellectual capacity toanalyse any information. All they did was to read or listen to what you have written ar said, then run to report that so and so was abusingNyayo and the Party

That is all that wasneededfor them to startto manufacture a destructive plan to send you into political obsecurity.It did not matter who reported you.All that mattered was that the word reached Baba na Mama. Mr Nyayo was very efficient in delegating high ranking Kanu Hawks to manufacture a quick destructive plan, to strip you of all your earthly possesions, meaning your businesses, licenses all would be withdrawn. They would leave you butt naked. If youwere lucky they let you live. But others were not so lucky, even bishops, and ended in car accidents somewhere in Kapsowar or misteriously, bodies would appear on Got Alila which were results of suicides, carried out by breaking ones legs, then shooting oneselfon the head and before dying completelyset oneself on fire. Quite a feat to accomplish for suicide. I think a less technical way, and more efficient way would just be to take a rope suspend it on astrong tree branch, noose it around ones neck, thensuspend yourself down. One is sure do die this way. It is an economical suicide process that many have used and suceeded in dispaching themselves to hell or heaven, whichever the case may be.

I am sure many who ventured in politics during that time and live on the opposite side of the Nyao songs like Raila, Gitobu, Wamwere, Orengo,Mwandawiro, Odwuor Ongwen, Tabithe Sei and many others have long long stories to tell. But now we are in a new era. So people who end up misintepreting little comments like Sam’s, just because of a mix up of name word, end up reminding us of the dark days of Baba na Mama era. It is better to keep quietthan send chills down our spineon reminding us of those days

That Nyayo era was the build up of pressure thatled to people exploding against the establishment and those who were deemed to be supporting that establishment.

Therefore those who are castigating others for using the word CHOTARA are just displaying their outrageous ignorance of the Kenyan Political History. I can only sum it up that they are illinformed, if they can take that Name, and then mix it up, then bring American Politics in it? How absurd the way we think! Mutisya and CHOTARA and later KIHIKAwere the hallmark of such thoughts then.

BY K’onyiego



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Discussing Kenyan politics: Subject: Raila will go down with Kibaki & Kimunya if he does NOT

Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008

I could not resist jumping in and ask a few questions

1. Should the luos build ODM for the year 2012?

2. How do we as concerned luos become apart of this process?

3. Will ODM be there in the year 2012?

4. Who will be the candidate for it if it exists?

5. If ODM beats the test of time,Will Raila be the candidate and will he win the election?

6. If he wins what will he be able to do for our land and our people?

Here is the scenario. As things are progressing, I highly doubt if ODM will be there in 2012 in one piece and I doubt if Raila will be the candidate.

The Kalenjins are about to move out. They do not think Raila is radical enough lately to push the Kibakilets into a corner. ODM may break very soon. Ngilu is already talking of quiting the coalition, Ruto is bitter about the youths in jail and the three dead Kalenjin MPS while Balala is confused about the coalition.Raila however, still want to give coalition a chance.

The pentagon cement is drying and cracking. Are we ready for it?

And my point is that the future is oblique if we base it on ODM politics. The luos need to build an economic base. The economic base is what will drive politics. This economic

base can be only created through a build up of an economic front through a real committed economic collective responsibility that can eventually be used to sponsor candidates with like minds as luo MPS. As long as this is not done, I would urge all of you to be ready to be played again and again. I see it comming again in the year 2032 after the next four elections.



K`Onyiego & Sam,





That is an interesting one. Yes Daktari, though its sounds hypothetical, what realy do you do when Kamunya walks into your hospital for treatment, do you go for a quick cyanide injection, neglect him or do you instinctively act as the nature of humanity commands to save life. Or would you just be compelled to treat him because you took an oath on graduating to take up the profession?

BY Jairus


Hello Daktari Nyandoto,

You’ve been very unhappy with this unholy alliance between Raila and Kibaki. I believe most Kenyans are watching with inreasing fear what is going on. On the other hand, it has been just six months since these two parties came together to avert a bloodbath that was ongoing. Don’t you think it would be a good idea to evaluate their performance in a year? Don’t you think by that time we’ll have had a broader history to base our facts on?

Like I said recently, the first six months have revealed that there are two unequal governments here. One is run by Kibaki and is very corrupt but powerful, the other is run by Odinga and is relatively more clean…but weaker. The next six months wil give us a clearer indication where Kenya is going, and whether the Prime Minister is a man worthy of our accolades or not.

By the way, Doc, what do you do if Kimunya walked up to your hospital room for treatment?

BY Sam O. Okello
Books That Keep You Awake Through The Night!



It looks that in Kenya now there are only peace keepers, but NO peace keeping at all.

Raila has joined Kibaki in peace keeping and has told the public to be patient. The question is: does Kibaki have anything to lose in this scandle?. How much did Kibaki lost in the Anglo-leasing scandle?. Almost nothing since he is still the president of Kenya even today. To Raila the case is not the same, when it comes to corruption, stealing of the tax payers money, he Raila should go public and demand Kimunya`s resignation. This Raila should do even if Kibaki is against it or NOT. For Raila to get another sympathy from the international community, the Diaspora, USA, EU, he should show a different leadership from Kibaki, otherwise he will be sharing the same feathers with thieves. Kibaki is not seeking a third term in 2012 but Raila will still be needing voters and perhaps international community support.

Another point is Raila and Kibaki are now holding the country at a very bad stage, the donors, investors are very much now watching, reading all the informations from Kenya about this scandle and how it is being handled. The genue investors or foreign donors are not going to do any genue business with Amos Kimunya. No donors are going to channel their money to Kenyan finance minister if this scandle is not delt with properly.

Last question: Is Kimunya secretely bringing Kenyan money they stole and banked abroad to buy almost all the government properties before 2012 election or what?.And why is Kibaki silent about Amos Kimunya?. Is this a new mafia GEMA has planned to do prior 2012 election so that who ever gets presidency will 100% depend on the GEMA for survival even if one of them is not the president?. I would advice clear thinking Kenyans not to take this scandle as an easy one or like Anglo-leasing. This might be a very big heavy planned economic coupe. They are even selling Oil Refinary and a lot other government firms to the so called Libyan company does n`t this ring a bell or not?.

BY Paul Nyandoto



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Posted by African Press International on July 9, 2008

<By Leo Odera Omolo.

The Kenyan government is willing to compensate Ugandan businessmen in accordance to the value of their merchandise destroyed during the post violence.

The government has asked Uganda to submit the monetary value of the cargo lost in transit during the dark days of January, February when Kenya was stripped with post election chaos.

A senior government official in Kampala was last week quoted extensively the influential weekly, the EAST AFRICAN as saying that Nairobi had sent diplomatic notice through its high commission in Kampala on April 4 indicating that it was going to pay all those who lost their goods.

The weekly quoted Mr. Patrick Guma, a spokesman for Ugandas Foreign Affairs Ministry as saying We are aware of the message from the government of Kenya. We have a lot of interest, but for now it is still sensitive and therefore I can not comment further on the subject.

The embattled Rift Valley railway; the joint concessionaire managing the Kenya- Uganda railway, also reported huge losses as a result of the post election violence. Bob Louw, the head of operations at RVR-Kenya had estimated an average lose of Ksh. 15 million (USD 231,000) per day during the violence.

Section of the railway line between Western Kenya and neighbouring Uganda was damaged, interrupting the flow of goods. The RVR official claimed total loss of business stood at about Kshs. 375 million (USD 5.8 million) by the end of January.

Although it is anticipated that RVR can offset its losses from its insurance policy the firms CEO Roy Puffet was quoted as saying we have heard about the compensation, but we are still making a study to compute the losses.

The RVR CEO said there have been extensive correspondences between his firm and the two neighbouring governments.

More than a dozen Ugandan traders lost merchandise and vehicle during the violence that erupted in Kenya at the end of last year and early this year between supporters of the Prime Minister Raila Amolo Odinga and President Mwai Kibaki, the two main presidential candidates in the race.

Kenya offers the land locked Uganda its only divert route to the sea but weeks of violence disrupted trade and saw vehicles as well as tracks on the Kenya- Uganda railway line vandalized by the gangs of political goons.

A lot of the violence occurred in the Western Kenyan towns of Kisumu, Eldoret, Nakuru, and Kericho and at the border port towns of Busia and Malaba, both opposition stronghold and transit points for trade between the two countries.

After President Yoweri Museveni hastily congratulated President Mwai Kibaki on his highly suspicious and disputed re-election, angry opposition supporters who were still marching in the streets protesting against the election results started attacking goods vehicles and traders going to Uganda.

The opposition followers had also read a malice attitude on the part of President Museveni when he hurriedly visited Kenya on a failed mission to save the mediation effort started. Several fuel trucks were set ablaze and burnt to ashes and the trade blockade resulted in a severe shortage of fuel sent mump prices soaring in Uganda.

Officials from the Kampala City Traders Association (KACITA| lobby group said they have already identified six of their colleagues with claims worth over USD 835,958, but they were informal. The claims would eventually be submitted to Ugandas solicitor General for approval.

We have learnt tat although no figure has been discussed in terms of compensation; Kampala has already set in motion by starting verifying claims by Ugandan traders who say they lost goods and other property worth millions of dollars.

It has been however, disclosed that Kenya has been receiving individual claims through its diplomatic mission in Kampala, but has since assured the Ugandan Government to coordinate the process so that the claims can be settled through one lump-sum payment.




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